Intel on its Architecture Day 2020, has announced an its next take on 10nm process – the 10nm SuperFin Transistor, which is Intel’s enhanced version of its existing 10nm process. Intel calls this to be “the largest single, intra-node enhancement in the company’s history.”
Its no secret that Intel has been working hard on 10nm for quite some time and faced hiccups as well, although they have failed to deliver 7nm in time, it seems this new 10nm SuperFin Transistor can save the game for the Blue team. As Wccftech points out, Intel has even joked about their ++++ improvements of the 14nm process.
Also, Intel did reveal that their new FinFET type for 10nm will allow them to gain several plusses worth of improvement at one go, which seems amazing on paper. Intel’s Raja Koduri has even compared the leap from 10nm process to the new 10nm SuperFin as a design shift that offers similar performance benefits to a full node transition.
As 10nm has not been that much convincing against the current 7nm trend, it has received a backlash from its investors, and with the 10nm SuperFin, there is hope to finally match with the company’s original performance expectations from 10nm process.
Intel has not only fixed its performance problems with the 10nm process but also improved it significantly that will help get several iterations worth of performance uplift in a single go. As they point out, previously, with a single “+” iteration there used to be an uplift of 5% in performance, however, with 10nm SuperFin enhanced, the intranode performance uplift is around 17-18% when compared to the original 10nm.
So what improvements can you expect from the new 10nm SuperFin? Here are a list of them:
- Improved epitaxial growth of crystal structures on the source and drain, increasing the strain and reducing resistance, allowing more current to flow through the channel.
- Enhanced source-drain architecture driving additional higher channel mobility and enabling charge carriers to move more quickly.
- Including an additional gate pitch to provide higher drive currents for certain chip functions that require the utmost performance.
- Using a new thin barrier reduces via resistance by up to 30% enhancing interconnect performance.
- The new super MIM metal insulator metal capacitor when compared to the industry standard, delivers a 5x increase in capacitance within the same footprint driving a voltage reduction that translates to dramatically improved product performance. This is an industry-first technology that far exceeds the current capabilities of other manufacturers. This Innovation is enabled by a new class of high-k dielectric materials stacking ultra-thin layers just several angstroms thick to form a repeating superlattice structure.
Originally, this 10nm SuperFin transistor was first developed when trying to fix the original 10nm process architecture and was initially called as 10nm+, but however the naming was changed. The first set of processors to based out of this tech will be Intel’s Tiger Lake processors which will have higher clock speeds for a 10nm chip and other architectural improvements to increase efficiency as well.
Intel has also confirmed that they are already working on a SuperFin Enhanced transistor, as they might not be able to deliver 7nm in time maybe. However, another good thing is that Intel will be removing its stupid and confusing ++ naming convention.
For the first time, we can sense positivity from Intel and we can somewhat expect true performance improvements both in CPU and iGPU with Intel Xe graphics. We do not have to wait much as on 2nd September, Intel is slated to launch its new Tiger Lake processors based on 10nm SuperFin Transistor.
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